How important are drylands for human habitation and agriculture

Drylands are a vital part of the earth’s human and physical environments. They encompass grasslands, agricultural lands, forests and urban areas. Dryland ecosystems play a major role in global biophysical processes by reflecting and absorbing solar radiation and maintaining the balance of atmospheric constituents (Ffolliott

Full
Answer

Why are drylands important for agriculture?

Food and water provision Low precipitation and prolonged dry seasons in drylands can lead to water scarcity, and limit agricultural productivity and output. Drylands biodiversity maintains soil fertility and moisture to ensure agricultural growth, and reduces the risk of drought and other environmental hazards.

What is life like in the drylands?

Life in drylands is precarious, and the socio-economic status of people in drylands is lower than that of people in many other areas. Water availability, already (on average) one-third below the threshold for minimum human well-being and sustainable development, is expected to decline further, due to changes in climate and land use.

What is the rate of land degradation in drylands?

In drylands, land degradation is known as desertification. It is estimated that 25-35% of drylands are already degraded, with over 250 million people directly affected and about one billion people in over one hundred countries at risk.

What are the factors affecting dryland farming success rate?

A lot of experimentation goes into determination of the type of crops to be grown by dryland farming at a particular location. Besides water availability, temperature conditions, the nature of the soil, the topography of the land, and other factors act in unison to determine the success or failure of crop growth on a piece of land.


Why are drylands important?

Drylands biodiversity maintains soil fertility and moisture to ensure agricultural growth, and reduces the risk of drought and other environmental hazards.


Why are dryland crops important to humans?

Dryland plants play a vital role in protecting the soil from wind and water erosion. The loss of vegetation cover results in a very high risk of reduced soil fertility and erosion. vulnerable people during times of drought.


What is the definition of drylands?

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines drylands according to an aridity index (AI), which is the ratio between average annual precipitation and potential evapotranspiration; drylands are lands with an AI of less than 0.65.


What are the characteristics of drylands?

Dry land, besides being water deficient, are characterized by high evaporation rates, exceptionally high day temperature during summer, low humidity and high run off and soil erosion. The soils of such areas are often found to be saline and low in fertility.


What are the advantages of dry farming?

These benefits result not only in increased short-term profits for farmers, but also in crop production systems that maintain and even increase soil organic matter, decrease soil erosion, and enhance the long-term sustainability and productivity of dryland agriculture in the Great Plains.


What is meant by dryland agriculture?

Rainfed farming includes dryland farming, but dryland farming is generally defined as agriculture in regions where lack of moisture limits crop and/or pasture production to part of the year.


How are drylands formed?

At the global scale the first cause of drylands is the behaviour of large-scale air masses. Descending, stable warm air associated with tropical high-pressure belts, and cold, dry subsiding air at the North and South Poles lead to low and highly variable rainfall in these regions (e.g. Sahara). 2.


How human activities lead to soil degradation and desertification of drylands?

Human activities that contribute to desertification include the expansion and intensive use of agricultural lands, poor irrigation practices, deforestation, and overgrazing. These unsustainable land uses place enormous pressure on the land by altering its soil chemistry and hydrology.


Do all inhabited continents have drylands?

Drylands cover 41.3% of the earth’s land surface, including 15% of Latin America, 66% of Africa, 40% of Asia and 24% of Europe.


Why is rainfall so important for crop production?

Rainfall provides the water that serves as a medium through which nutrients are transported for crop development. In view of this significant role, clearly, inadequate water supply has adverse effects on efficient crop growth, resulting in low productivity.


How is Dryland Agriculture different from agriculture in other area?

Answer:Dryland agriculture totally depends on rain and if the rain is irregular the farmer may suffer. In dryland agriculture a farmer has only one season to do agriculture whereas in irrigated agriculture a farmer may grow crops throughout the year.


Why are drylands and grasslands more susceptible to erosion during droughts?

Drylands are particularly susceptible to land degradation because of scarce and variable rainfall as well as poor soil fertility.


What are the biodiversity of the drylands?

Biodiversity. Drylands support an impressive array of biodiversity. This includes wild endemic species – such as the Saiga Antelope in the Asian steppe and American bison in the North American grasslands that do not occur anywhere else on earth – and cultivated plants and livestock varieties known as agrobiodiversity.


What are drylands?

Drylands are areas which face great water scarcity. They cover over 40% of the earth’s land surface, and are home to more than two billion people. They are highly adapted to climatic variability and water stress, but also extremely vulnerable to damaging human activities such as deforestation, overgrazing and unsustainable agricultural practices, …


What are the causes of land degradation?

The loss of biodiversity in drylands is one of the major causes and outcomes of land degradation. Food and water provision. Low precipitation and prolonged dry seasons in drylands can lead to water scarcity, and limit agricultural productivity and output. Drylands biodiversity maintains soil fertility and moisture to ensure agricultural growth, …


What are some examples of traditional farming practices in the Sahelian drylands?

Traditional crop farming practices used by communities in drylands build up soil moisture and restore degraded land. For example, the zaï pits used by communities in the western Sahelian drylands (Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali) involves planting seeds in pits filled with organic manure to concentrate water and nutrients at the plant’s base.


How does desertification affect agriculture?

Desertification reduces agricultural output, contributes to droughts and increases human vulnerability to climate change. The loss of biodiversity in drylands, including bacteria, fungi and insects living in the soil, is one of the major causes and outcomes of land degradation. Restoring rangelands and sustainable land management practices can …


How much of the Earth’s land is dry?

Drylands cover over 40% of the earth’s land surface, provide 44% of the world’s cultivated systems and 50% of the world’s livestock, and are home to more than two billion people. Drylands are extremely vulnerable to climatic variations, and damaging human activities such as deforestation, overgrazing and unsustainable agricultural practices.


What are the characteristics of drylands?

Drylands are also characterised by extremely high levels of climatic uncertainty, and many areas can experience varying amounts of annual precipitation for several years. Drylands are found on all continents, and include grasslands, …


Why is dryland farming important?

Dryland farming is highly important to ensure the economic stability of a region or nation with arid lands. In the absence of this farming practice, vast tracts of lands in the world would be left barren and unproductive. Even though dryland farming takes a lot of financial investment and hard work to be established, and crop yields are generally comparatively lower, without this form of agriculture the populations residing in the arid areas of the world would have to be completely dependent on external sources of food to meet their dietary needs. This would adversely impact a nation’s economy as self-sufficiency, in terms of production of food grains to feed the country’s population, would be lost.


How does dryland farming work?

Dryland farming demands a great deal of effort to ensure that the soil is not deprived of moisture. Formation of soil crust at the surface is prevented by tillage to allow rainwater to seep in and reach the plant roots. Water runoff from crop fields is checked by leveling the fields and establishing bunds or contour strips. Soil water evaporation is inhibited by mulching and the planting of shelter belts of trees and shrubs. Dryland farming also involves the planting of crops in a more dispersed manner, and in less numbers overall, than what is seen in “wet” farming methods. Weeds are completely destroyed so that these insignificant plants do not compete with the crop plants for water. Strip cropping is also commonly practiced in dryland agriculture. During the fallow periods in dryland agriculture, no crops are grown in the fields to allow the soil to absorb and retain moisture and recharge their nutritional capacities.


What is dryland farming?

Dryland farming refers to the practice of growing crops in the absence of irrigation facilities in arid areas (those receiving less than 50 inches of annual precipitation). The success of dryland farming depends on the efficient use of the little moisture that is trapped in the soils of crop fields for growing crops, …


How much water does a dryland crop need?

Some crops are, however, completely impossible to grow by dryland agriculture, such as the food crops of rice (requiring 3,000 to 5,000 liters of water per kilogram of crop produced) and sugar-cane (1,500 to 3,000 liters of water per kilogram), and certain varieties of commercially cropped cotton (7,000-29,000 liters of water per kilogram).


What factors determine the success or failure of a crop?

Besides water availability, temperature conditions, the nature of the soil, the topography of the land, and other factors act in unison to determine the success or failure of crop growth on a piece of land. Often it takes years of experimentation to establish a successful crop on dryland farms.


Where is dryland farming practiced?

These include the countries of the Middle East, the steppe lands of Eurasia and South America, large parts of Australia, southern Russia and the Ukraine, and parts of Mexico, as well as many areas in the United States like the Great Plains region and the dry, southwestern United States.


Do dryland crops need water?

However, germinating seeds or rooted cuttings of these plants still require a considerable amount of water. Hence, normal water conditions must be available during the initial stages of plant growth.


Dryland Agriculture

  • Dry land agriculture is defined differently by different researchers and experts. According to the Fourth five year plan of India, dry lands are defined as areas which receive rainfall ranging from 375 mm to 1125 mm and with very limited irrigation facilities. Reddy and Reddy have defined dry…

See more on gradesfixer.com


Importance of Groundwater in Dryland Agriculture

  • Characteristics and challenges of rainfed areas are well documented. – water stress, low productivity / crop yields, loss of organic matter and physical degradation of soil, nutrient depletion and chemical degradation of soil, soil erosion and sedimentation, water scarcity and pollution Number of strategies are recommended and practiced to address various challenges f…

See more on gradesfixer.com


Challenges in Sustaining The Benefits

  • For years, government agencies and several non governmental organizations have taken efforts in dryland areas towards watershed management. Since early 70s several programs have been run under different names to achieve soil and water conservation. These programs were instrumental in reducing soil erosion, increasing the water availability, and increase in green cover in respectiv…

See more on gradesfixer.com


Normative Consideration in The Standard

  • For any village, adopting the water governance standard and certification system means to plan the water resource according to the local conditions and to execute the plan. While planning and executing the same, there are several conditions put by the standard that the village needs to fulfill. The conditions put by the standard mainly consider sustainability, equity, and TAP conside…

See more on gradesfixer.com

Leave a Comment